From the [deep] Archives

Recently we made a startling discovery in the back of some godforsaken filing cabinet in the Office of Student Life. Piled inside were rotting stacks of defunct campus publications, but also pristine old Punch Bowls that no one on staff had seen before. Seeing the light of day for the first time in decades, we bring you the first of these seemingly ‘lost issues’, today’s is from May 1973.


The University of Pennsylvania Band provides an opportunity for exhibitionists and deaf-mutes to participate in a rewarding extracurricular activity that keeps them off the streets. Every fall, thousands thrill to the sight of the marching band spelling out “Pennsylvania” on Franklin Field, one letter at a time.

Present in all football, basketball, and soccer locker rooms, the cheerleaders do their part in contributing to the pageantry, excitement and drive of Penn athletes. With the help of Penn’s mascot, Uncle Tom, they lead the campus in bad taste, unknown songs, and jeers, often adding live entertainment and athletic exhibitions: last year they set a record for “Most Repeat Performances with the Philadelphia Vice Squad”.

Connaissance specializes in importing outside agitators, social misfits, and other deviates to speak to Penn students on a wide variety of topics. Recent speakers include motion picture czar Harry Hardawn on “Why ‘Gidget’ Never Popped Her Cherry”; former Attorney General John N. Mitchell who agreed to appear but did not speak; and First Lady Pat Nixon who delivered her now-famous “Let them eat cheese” address.

The Glee Club, noted for its outstanding castrati and sopranos, has traveled all over the U.S., Europe, South America and many other areas as far removed as possible from the Penn campus. Its renowned annual performances with the Philadelphia Kazoo Society have been described as “… very… “, “Without a doubt…”, and “which ones are the kazoos?”

Mask & Wig is a select group of talented transvestites, whose traditional, highly-praised spring show is performed in a downtown speakeasy to which admittance may be gained only by use of the password “swordfish.” The satirical review contains lots of neat singing and keen dancing, and has fondly been nicknamed “Mince & Wink” by nostalgic alumni.

To serve students who desire to earn an officer’s commission in one of the armed forces during their undergraduate years, the Pentagon has strategically placed branches of the National Officer Training Corps on the University campus. Under the direction of Col. Pharris Auckland, Penn NOTC units are trained in the basics of modern warefare, with emphasis on Public Relations, Cost Estimates, Statistics Adjustment, Congressional Testimony, and Maximum Feasible Body Counts. Col. Auckland’s popular course, Military Science 243, “What, My Lai?”, integrates materials from various disciplines in an attempt to understand how man has gone from the Mecca of World War II to the Medina of the Viet Nam War. Interested students shouldn’t be.

The Philomathean Society, founded in 1813, is the oldest, most consistently boring undergraduate organization in the country. Its activities are best exemplified by its motto, “Let’s go to New Deck.” Philo founded the DP, the Debate Council, and other groups, but as yet has not finished a single thing it’s started.
Membership in Philo is extremely selective, being limited to those students who can find the stairs to the fourth floor of College Hall, where the Society meets. Traditions include secret initiation rites, which bear an uncanny resemblance to a Campfire Girls swearing-in ceremony.

Membership in either the Shrinx or the Fryers Senior Honor Societies is based on personality, leadership in activities, and connections. Outstanding students, chosen in the spring of their junior year, are given small gold-plated lapel pins that read, “Kiss me, I’m a B.M.O.C.” Both societies claim to be other 70 years old, but actually they were invented as a Skimmer prank by some members of the Wharton Class of 1956.

The Activities Council is composed of one political extremist or shapeless apathetic lump from every random collection of weirdos that has been formally recognized by the Council. This group functions as a rubber stamp for the Finance Committee, offers a forum for bickering, politicking, and petty acts of hostility, and in general an amusing way to waste an occasional Thursday evening. Any activity may be recognized (current members include Coptic Patriarchs Society, and Committee to End Pay Toilets in America), unless the conservatives find it too threatening (1001 to Elect Maharaj Ji President).

WXPN, the radio station of the University of Pennsylvania, may be tuned in easily from any spot on campus ¬ simply stick one finger in a light socket, the other in your mouth, and voila! Program scheduling includes music, contests, and pleas for money, as businesses refuse to advertise with it. There’s nothing else we can say about WXPN, because we don’t listen to it. Do you know anyone who does? (Keep in mind this was written 33 years ago. Some things never change- Vaultmaster)

Punch Bowl was founded in 1899, but somebody lost it again in the mid-1950’s. Unbought, unbossed, and underfunded, it is the only forum of free thought left on campus. The magnificent creative geniuses on its staff work night and day, and occasionally devote some time to the magazine as well. Many Penn “biggies” got their start by writing for Punch Bowl, but they have all asked that their names be withheld.

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